Jeavor Royal and Andre McCarthy have been pulled from participating in CPL 2020 after the duo were exposed to a Jamaican cricketer who tested positive for the novel virus. Unavailability of commercial flights at later dates left have the organizers with no option but to leave the two players behind.
In what has come as a scathing blow for the Jamaica Tallawahs ahead of the 2020 edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), two players who they had drafted ahead of the season, Jeavor Royal and Andre McCarthy, have been pulled from the tournament owing to them being exposed to another Jamaica cricketer, whose identity has not been revealed, who tested positive for Covid-19. According to Newsday, a Trinidad and Tobago news outlet, the player who tested positive for the virus was a Jamaican who was set to represent the St Kitts and Nevis Patriots.
Courtney Francis, CEO of Jamaica Cricket Association, confirmed the news and added that best efforts are being made to adhere to the protocols listed out by the Jamaican government.
“We have not yet determined how many people might have been affected. We are adhering to the health and safety guidance set out by the Government of Jamaica. We are in dialogue with all the necessary parties, including the ministry, to ensure that everybody is aware of the developments,” Courtney Francis, CEO of Jamaica CA, told the Jamaica Observer.
The observer report further revealed that players, coaches, and members of the Jamaica backroom staff have been kept under quarantine and added that possible contacts are expected to be tested very soon.
Jermaine Blackwood and Ramaal Lewis, meanwhile, have been named as the replacements for the duo. Both Royal and McCarthy returned negative results, but they were left behind due to the protocols, which demand a quarantine and require individuals returning two negative test results. Under normal circumstances, they would have rejoined the squad after clearing all hurdles, but the unavailability of commercial flights to Trinidad at later dates meant that the club had no option but to leave the two players behind and get them replaced. In fact, all teams flew to Trinidad on Monday only via a charter flight.
“It’s unfortunate because it could have happened to anybody. And it is very unfortunate for those two players in particular. There is no evidence, as we speak, that they are ill, but because of how the protocols are set out and for the safety of everyone things had to be done that way.
“As it is, a person would require two-straight negative tests before he or she is cleared, and even then there is the quarantine period, so they obviously would not catch that flight to Trinidad,” Francis said of the situation.
Worsening of the situation could put the entire tournament in jeopardy, as the first match, between Trinbago Knight Riders and Guyana Amazon Warriors, is scheduled to take place in just 14 days, August 18. Every individual associated with the tournament is currently observing a 14-day quarantine period ahead of the competition, which will be played in biosecure venues. The Tallawahs, meanwhile, will play their first match of CPL 2020 on August 19 against St Lucia Zouks.